You’ve heard all the advice about creating a buyer persona and reaching your target audience, but what if you have more than one buyer persona and only one website? You won’t find a magic pill for reaching every type of user visiting your site. Different audiences may require different tones, images and calls to action (CTAs).
If your customers are both baby boomers and millennials, then your site must appeal to two very different audiences at the same time. The reality of creating a multi-tiered site that appeals to multiple generations and interests is easier said than done. Factors like what offends one group come into play as well.
Fortunately, you can incorporate some specific elements into your website design so that you appeal to several audiences simultaneously without driving other audience types away. Here are 10 great steps to take.
1. Know Your Audience
The advice of knowing your audience applies no matter how many audience segments there are. Create detailed buyer personas for each audience segment. If your audience consists of 50-something wives and also 20-something college students, you need to remember that these are very different segments that require unique buyer personas. Create a persona for each type so that you have all the information you need when you’re creating marketing campaigns and landing pages.
Your first step in appealing to several audiences is fully understanding what makes each segment tick. Use analytics from sources such as Google as well as internal data about the customers who already order from you. Fill in any gaps by polling your customers and asking for details about how you can better serve them.
2. Provide Options
Once you know your audience well, provide options appealing to each persona. One buyer type looks for information A, while the other buyer type looks for information B. Both A and B information should be easily accessible from every page of your site. If Buyer B lands on Information A, they should immediately see how to get to Information B.
Provide options in case an audience member you think falls into one segment also has interests in a different segment. Options provide additional opportunities for add-on sales.
ESPN does an excellent job reaching different personas. While one segment of their audience loves football, another loves soccer. However, both audience types see the ticker at the top of the page with stats as well as clear links to the items most interesting to them.
Video interviews and high-resolution images reach out to all segments of their audience. ESPN also rotates the content on their main page so that something fresh and targeted at one of their audience segments appears at all times.
3. Consider Audience Overlap
More than likely, some of your audience segments overlap with one another. Mary might love quilting, but she also enjoys crocheting, while Jane loves to crochet and dabbles in jewelry making. Mary and Jane overlap in their love of crochet.
Facebook advertising can help you gain a good handle on which audiences overlap in interests. Create audience segments that reflect the site visitors you’ve identified, then compare their interests to see which audiences overlap. Use this information not only for your social media advertising but also as you design a website that speaks to multiple audiences. In the above scenario, you need targeted content on crocheting.
4. Show off Industries You Serve
Speak specifically about the types of industries your business serves. If half your client base comes from local law enforcement, highlight that information on your landing page. Those seeking for specific terms, such as “services for police officers,” are more likely to stumble across your page if you indicate that you serve them already.
There are a number of ways of highlighting the industries you serve. Include testimonials from leaders in that industry, use an icon that reflects the industry itself, or share case studies of how you helped a business in that field.
Illuminated Integration does a good job highlighting the industries they serve with their theatrical and presentation solutions. At the top of their website is a tab for “Markets Served.”
At the bottom of their landing page is a list of types of businesses and an icon that reflects each business, so for performance venues, an icon of theater tickets appears. Potential clients see at a glance what type of work the company is already proficient in. Click on any industry link, and the elements break down even further into specific business types. Click on a type, and get its description and client testimonials.
5. Test Your Audiences
The best way of figuring out what works for multiple audiences lies in testing changes to your site and seeing what the response is from various segments. Once you implement a change, run A/B tests to figure out which changes reach the most people.
6. Create Multiple Landing Pages
The best way of ensuring that your website reaches who you want is by creating multiple landing pages or a funnel that sends users to a page that addresses their specific questions.
Creating a specific landing page for each buyer persona lets you tap into that persona’s pain points and the emotional triggers that speak to each buyer. Multiple landing pages also help with advertising. For example, if you have a landing page for Chelsea — a millennial college student — target advertising to that persona on Facebook and send traffic for that persona to the landing page created for the buyer persona Chelsea.
Trulia does an excellent job of funneling the several types of visitors they get on their website — those looking for a home to buy, those looking for rentals and those selling a home. Note the three tabs that funnel visitors to the part of the site they need.
Vibrant images match the segmented audience type. On the “buy a home” space is a picture of a child playing in front of their house. The information targets to your specific area to start, but you can adjust the search to your needs. Every element of what the audience needs pops up, from crime reports to local school information to nearby shopping and restaurants.
7. Offer Various Payment Options
If your site targets both older people and the younger generation, think through the payment methods each generation prefers. For example, a baby boomer may feel uncomfortable sharing credit card information online, so a telephone number for placing orders is a must. However, Gen Z often prefers paying via Facebook or Venmo.
Offer varying payment options so that you don’t lose a customer in the checkout process. Have you ever abandoned a shopping cart because they didn’t accept PayPal? Consider modern payments too, such as Bitcoin.
8. Appeal to Multiple Audiences With Content
Speak to each audience on your list with the content produced on your site. The problem with multiple audiences is that what attracts one often repels the other. The content written for one segment may drive another away. Content is another area where audience overlap impacts final decisions.
See overlap by creating a Venn diagram of each buyer persona. In the center part of the circles (where the overlap occurs), write out what attracts every type of reader. In the outer rings, write what repels. The overlap (what attracts both audiences) is where your content shines.
The organization charity:water reaches people of all ages with the common purpose of clean water for everyone. Their blog reaches different audience types. Note the article in the screenshot above, which speaks of the desire to help others. Helping others is a topic of interest to both the young and old in their audience segments. They also feature articles about the relationship between coffee and clean water, stories from the field of bringing clean water to communities and collaborations with other companies.
9. Consider User Interface
The user interface (UI) on your website impacts the way users interact with your brand. People communicate with the online world in a variety of ways. Younger people are more likely to use voice search and devices such as Alexa in finding the information they need. Older generations often use more traditional methods, such as a Google search.
Think through the ways your site interacts with visitors. Optimize things for mobile so that they’re user-friendly on smaller screens. Put yourself in the mindset of your target audience (all of them), and figure out what makes it easy to navigate and use your site.
10. Talk to Your Customers
Spend time talking to your customers through polls, emails and customer service. Ask what would make their experience on your site better, and figure out ways of implementing the common suggestions.
Communication is key in nearly every interaction with your customers. When in doubt, always ask what they want.
Reaching Multiple Customers
Reaching multiple customers at one time requires creativity and attention to detail. Use the elements above and make the experience better for each type of visitor who lands on your page. With a little effort and study of where interests overlap, create a site that speaks to various kinds of people simultaneously